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Purplebricks says Strike not part of sale process after potential deal talks

Sign for online estate agent Purplebricks is pictured outside a property in London

(Reuters) -Purplebricks Group, Britain's biggest online-only estate agency, said on Wednesday it has held talks over a possible takeover offer with Strike Ltd but the smaller rival was not currently participating in the formal sale process.

Shares in Purplebricks rose more than 14% in morning trade on the news.

A local industry publication Estate Agent Today reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the talks, that Strike was interested in combining the Purplebricks brand with its own fee-free model, but was being stifled by the bidding process.

Strike did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

A non disclosure agreement required as part of the takeover process would prevent Strike from speaking with its investors to back the potential deal, the report said.

Sky News reported earlier this month that Purplebricks founder and former Chief Executive Officer Michael Bruce had been considering floating an offer to regain control over the company, nearly four years after he stepped down from the role.

Purplebricks had a turbulent 2022 as it struggled with implementing a new operating model. It saw at least three major management reshuffles and one of its top-10 shareholders - Lecram Holdings - called for the removal of Paul Pindar as chairman.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Shinjini Ganguli)